The benefits of electricity are not limited to residential housing and businesses. Those who live on homesteads and small farms can enjoy many benefits by choosing to electrify sheds, barns, and shelters where animals or poultry are kept. If you have recently purchased a small farm or homestead and are considering adding electrical service to the outbuildings, the following information can help.
Enhance production, reduce labor
Keeping chickens, turkeys, ducks, or other types of poultry is an excellent way to provide meat, eggs, and income from a type of livestock that is inexpensive to purchase and relatively easy to raise. But left to their own devices, most species of poultry lay fewer eggs during the winter. Since this can reduce the amount of both food for the family and income from egg sales, using electricity to help overcome the problem is an excellent plan.
When planning to electrify the hen house, homesteaders and small farmers will want to include adequate circuitry for the following uses:
- automatic timers and lights that will turn on and off at preset intervals to encourage egg production
- an automatic watering system that includes a heated element to keep their water at the right drinking temperature during colder winter weather
- dedicated circuits to safely power brooders and incubators during hatching season
If the farm or homestead is located in an area where predators are a problem, adding some exterior outlets for motion-activated security lighting is also a good idea.
Be vigilant, but not intrusive
In sheds and barns used for larger livestock, such as cattle, hogs, goats, or sheep, electricity allows farmers to more closely observe their animals without upsetting them. This is especially true when calves, lambs, kids, or piglets are about to be born and the mother is easily upset.
By adding electrical outlets and connections in these areas, farmers and homesteaders can install wireless internet cameras in areas used as maternity pens. Installing camera systems, as well as good lighting, can allow farmers and homesteaders to monitor their laboring animals from their home computer or smart phone.
To learn more about all the ways in which electricity can be beneficial in caring for livestock and poultry, and to make sure that the installation will be resistant to weather and safe for use around livestock, contact a reputable, properly licensed electrical contractor. These professionals can assess your power situation and help you come up with a safe, effective electrification plan that will help make your farm or homestead more productive.